When you are faced with selecting an assisted living facility for a parent, the choices can seem overwhelming. But a large part of your issue might be that you are having a hard time grasping the aging process and the needs your parent is currently facing. It is natural for a child to continue to see their parent as ageless and timeless. The harsh reality can be hard to accept. So when you begin to look at senior care, be certain to look carefully and try to avoid these three common mistakes.
First, be honest with yourself and with potential facilities about your parent’s current condition. Many times, children tend to have a hard time grasping all of the care a parent really needs. What you might think of as only minimal assistance could in fact be much more. Spend a few days with your parent to see the tasks that they struggle with and be sure that all of those needs are going to be met. Making your parents daily life easier, less stressful and safe should be your first concern. And also realize that these are your parent’s current needs but that could change. It is not uncommon for seniors to need more help as the months go by. Make sure that the level of care can increase as your parents needs change.
Allow your parents to have as much input in the selection process as possible. We all want the best for our loved ones but sometimes we impose our likes and dislikes without considering where they might feel more comfortable. You know your parents general likes and dislikes so start with those criteria and then schedule a visit and explore the facility with them. This will let you watch their reactions and see which areas they like, dislike and where they appear to be most at home and at ease. Finding an assisted living facility that best suits their taste will make the transition easier for them and in the end less stressful for you.
Finally, when you are touring and evaluating the facilities, look beyond the brand new furniture and the lavish facilities. Of course you want a nice place for your parent to enjoy but you also want the highest quality care for him or her. Stop in for visits at different time of the day, walk the property and see how the residents are being treated, how happy they are and how safe the property is. Understand that the nicest dining room is not important if your parent is not able to have assistance getting there safely. After several visits. You will have an instinct about the senior care facility that feels like the best fit. Sit down and talk to your parent about the options, your favorite location and his or her choice. Together you can sort out the pros and cons or all of your options and make a choice that you both will be happy with.